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Marcus Smith
 
Jersey Number: #25
Junior Experience: 5 Years
Date of Birth: Jan 14, 1983
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 200lbs
NHL Status: Phoenix 8th round '02
How Acquired: Trade with Mississauga
 
Marcus Smith entered the league with the Mississauga Ice Dogs in 1999, it was only the team's second year of exsistence in the OHL.  Due to shoulder problems, Smith would only appear in 15 games during his shortened rookie season.  After playing only 15 games during a season that ranks as one of the worst ever in OHL history in Mississauga he was dispatched to the Kitchener Rangers in an off-season deal that involved the oft injured: Mike Wehrstedt (a former Rangers' first round draft pick), stay-at-home defender: Brent Labre along with rugged enforcer: Sean McMorrow.  Smith, at the time seen as a soft defender was dealt to the Rangers for a trio of players with some quality OHL experience with the Rangers.  Smith would put up modest totals as a rookie with the Rangers, but the Rangers season would come to a screeching halt in Guelph where the Rangers lost the final game of the season 4-1, and were eliminated from postseason contention on a night where a tie would have put them into position to play a single-game tie-breaker against the London Knights who were also battling for 8th in the Western Conference.  Unfortunately the Rangers would fall short of their goal of the postseason and for the second straight year Smith would be home prior to the end of winter.

After the 2000-'01 season Smith made an unusual move in regards to his future pro prospects.  He opted out of the NHL, electing to take his chances the that his next season would be more convincing for scouts.  Few knew that Smith spent much of the season playing injured for the Rangers, and all in all it was a very frustrating season for Smith drafted high in a pool of high-scoring defenders which included teammate: Steve Eminger, Sault Ste. Marie's Trevor Daley and Dennis Wideman who still patrols the blueline for the London Knights, he was originally selected by the Wolves.

Smith, like many of the Rangers had his development significantly excelerated when current Rangers' head coach: Peter DeBoer arrived in town and rather than being more than less a one-dimensional offensive defender.  Aside from becoming one of the single most solid two-way threats in the OHL Smith was also establishing a reputation as one of the leagues more feared open ice hitters.  At the end of the season, Smith was rewarded for his efforts as well as his earlier decision when the Phoenix Coyotes drafted him in the 8th round (249th overall) in the 2002 NHL entry draft.  Smith was also signed by the Coyotes after enjoying his best offensive season with the Rangers with 6 goals and 25 assists.

During the 2002-'03 season, Smith's offensive exploits took a back seat to his rock solid defenseman.  His value to the team was never more evident than during the 3rd round of the postseason when the Rangers ran into the Plymouth Whalers.  Smith went down in game one and the Rangers struggled, and were effectively brought to the brink of elimination without the services of the 4th year defender.  When Smith returned, the Rangers seemed to cruise to victory winning each of their last 8 games of the postseason.  During his 5th OHL season Smith was expected to fill an unfamiliar role.  Without experienced defenders surrounding him, Smith was to provide leadership.  Due to a series of shoulder injuries Smith was finally laid up for the season just prior to the 2003 trade deadline, ending his tenure with the Kitchener Rangers.  With his very successful playing career now behind him Smith will stay with the organization for the duration of the season, filling a mentor role.


Season
GP
G
A
P
PIM
+/-
PPG
SHG
1999-2000 Mississauga Ice Dogs
15
1
2
3
0
-8
1
0
2000-2001 Kitchener Rangers
59
4
13
17
43
-20
0
0
2001-2002 Kitchener Rangers
65
6
25
31
63
20
4
0
2002-2003 Kitchener Rangers
67
2
30
32
82
29
1
1
2003-2004 Kitchener Rangers
27
5
9
14
23
9
1
0
Career Totals
233
18
79
97
211
30
7
1
Photography provided by: Stephen Gardiner